Border Force officers are set to use X-ray technology to confirm the age of asylum-seekers arriving in boats across the Channel.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
A Government document seen by The Mail on Sunday reveals how the Home Office is planning to use medical scans to verify the ages of migrants who claim to be children.
It follows a string of high-profile cases in which would-be asylum-seekers falsely claimed to be under 18. One spent six weeks as a Year 11 pupil at a school in Ipswich in 2018 before the local authority discovered he was years older.
The UK is one of only a few countries not to use scientific methods to check the ages of asylum-seekers, according to the document. At present, social workers simply study the behaviour and language of those claiming to be children to assess whether they are telling the truth.
But X-rays of teeth and wrist bones can provide a more accurate picture of a young person's age.
Migrants arrive at Dover Docks in a Border Force vessel last week
The document reveals that the Home Office is looking for a private-sector firm to carry out assessments at several sites, adding: 'The initial estimate is for a requirement of approximately 1,000 assessments a year. However, this will fluctuate, potentially significantly.
'It is understood that the use of X-rays are the most common form of imaging techniques for these purposes, but other methods would not be precluded if they can be demonstrated to be viable and effective and the exact type of X-ray is still to be determined.'
Home Office research has found up to 54 per cent of migrants claiming to be children were over 18.
Ahmed Hassan, an Iraqi asylum-seeker who planted a bomb on the London Underground